7 rewarding one-day Australian mountain climbs

There’s something special about climbing a mountain, and it’s a feat that conjures up a whole range of thoughts and feelings. You start by psyching yourself up for the challenge, ooze energy and enthusiasm as the climb begins, question your sanity part way through, and then, with elation, enjoy a huge sense of achievement when you reach the summit.

Hiking within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is incredibly rewarding

Holidays are the perfect time to tackle a mountain: you literally have all day to play with and plenty of recovery time.

With this in mind, we thought we’d share with you our favourite Australian mountain climbs. We’ve highlighted those that can be conquered as part of a daytrip from your BIG4 accommodation; yet still present a decent challenge. And the further you read, the tougher the climbs become!

It’s time to put on your walking shoes and prepare to encounter these incredibly rewarding Australian mountain climbs.

Enjoy sparkling views from the top of Mount William.

1. Mount William, Grampians National Park, Victoria

Grampians National Park is bursting with natural treasure and the best spot to witness it all is atop its highest peak, 1167m-tall Mount William. A medium grade climb will take you to its summit and from this vantage point you can take in expansive views of the eucalypt-cloaked surrounds, bewitching mountain ranges, and more.

Requiring just one to 1.5 hours to complete (3.6km return), it’s a…ahem…walk in the park compared to other trails on this list. However, the opportunity to climb to this famous park’s highest point makes it worth adding to your itinerary. And if you’re after bigger challenges, these surrounds are loaded with trails that will accommodate your footprints. Afterwards, share the story of your adventures at BIG4 Grampians Parkgate Resort.

2. Mount Ngungun, Glass House Mountains National Park, Queensland

While many great climbs abound within Glass House Mountains National Park, we’ve opted to highlight the Mount Ngungun summit walk. It fits the bill of being challenging enough to justify a big bowl of ice cream once you’re done, but not so testing that afterwards you’ll feel like a big bowl of jelly.

You’ll be rewarded mid-climb with a fantastic peek at neighbouring Mount Tibrogargan, but it’s when you reach the top that you really cash in. Admire funky looking Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah and then stretch the gaze further to lap up majestic hinterland and coastal views.

If climbing with children, please note that the track strays close to cliff edges. Allow two hours to complete this 2.8km return hike. After a busy day’s climbing, there’s ample BIG4 accommodation on the Sunshine Coast to return to.

Glass House Mountains National Park is loaded with sensational climbs, including the Mount Ngungun summit walk.

3. Pigeon House Mountain, Morton National Park, New South Wales

This is one of the best mountains to climb in New South Wales and is a distinctive, eye-catching formation that rewards photographers from base to summit.

Trek through changing landscapes of the South Coast region, including forest and sandstone, before tackling a sequence of ladders that guide you to the mountain’s summit. From here the views are spectacular – witness rugged cliffs and sprawling greenery that stretches for miles. If the weather is behaving, you can even spot Jervis Bay from this point.

Give yourself about four hours to complete this 5km return walk, as there are tough, steep sections. Those hard climbs ensure the celebratory beverage tastes even better when at your nearby accommodation, BIG4 Bungalow Park on Burrill Lake.

4. Walshs Pyramid, Queensland

When it comes to climbing Australian mountains, Walshs Pyramid warrants plenty of attention. Spotted in Wooroonooran National Park, part of the World Heritage Wet Tropics of Queensland area, this striking, well-named feature reveals treasured views for those prepared for a tough slog. From the top, enjoy 360-degree views that blend neighbouring mountains with glorious patchwork-style surrounds.

Allow five to six hours to complete this 6km return walk. The climb is a great daytrip option from Cairns when staying at BIG4 Cairns Coconut Resort or BIG4 Cairns Crystal Cascades Holiday Park.

The views are incredible within Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

5. Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Tasmania

The Apple Isle is loaded with incredible mountains, many of which attract the attention of hardcore climbers. We’ve opted to highlight a climb that’s more sedate by those standards, but still presents an almighty challenge.

The main path to the summit of Tasmania’s most iconic peak, Cradle Mountain, begins from Dove Lake and passes Lake Lilla. However, there are several trails to choose from, meaning you can take a different route for the return journey.

This walk reveals a bounty of spectacular scenery but it’s from the summit that you’ll be truly overwhelmed by Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park’s immense beauty. You’ll also spot Tasmania’s highest mountain, Mount Ossa.

The walk requires six to eight hours to complete and measures 6.4km one way. 

6. Mount Kosciuszko, Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales

You can’t have a list of climbs without including the biggest mountain in mainland Australia, 2228m-high Mount Kosciuszko. If you have plenty of time, take on the Mount Kosciuszko Summit walk (9km/six hours one way). You’ll encounter breathtaking natural attractions – including the iconic Snowy River and dazzling wildflower displays – as well as information about Aboriginal heritage significant to the area. From the summit, the views stretch over the famous Australian Alps and the Bogong Peaks.

If time is less restrictive, take the Thredbo to Mount Kosciuszko path. This looping track begins at the top of the Kosciuszko Express chairlift at Thredbo and is ‘only’ 14.3km long with an estimated completion time of 4.5 hours. When tackling Mount Kosciuszko, be sure to rest up at Discovery Holiday Parks – Jindabyne.

Victoria’s second-highest mountain, Mount Feathertop, offers a testing but satisfying climb.

7. Mount Feathertop, Alpine National Park, Victoria

Looking for an even tougher challenge? Then climb Victoria’s second-highest mountain. Two main tracks lead to Mount Feathertop’s summit: the Bungalow Spur and the Razorback Trail. Both are very demanding climbs that pass varying landscapes, but insanely good views of the Alps and beyond make it well worth your while.

Each option is a 22km return walk, and you’ll be feeling it afterwards! It’s a reasonable guide to set aside about eight hours to tackle the Razorback Trail, but completion time for the Bungalow Spur varies quite considerably based on hiking experience. Afterwards, enjoy a well-earned celebratory drink and a rest at BIG4 Bright Holiday Park or nearby BIG4 Porepunkah Holiday Park.

Have you climbed any of these mountains and have a story to share about the experience? Or do you have a favourite mountain climb that did not make this list? We’d love to hear about it – please leave a comment below.

Please remember that whenever you attempt a mountain climb, be well-prepared, take care, and stick to designated paths.


This article first appeared on www.BIG4.com.au and was republished with permission.


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